SC Gov. Henry McMaster adds Marco Rubio alum to his campaign staff

Just before the campaign season kicks off officially on Labor Day, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has hired a key campaign staffer.

Katie Baham, S.C. director for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential bid, has been hired to manage McMaster’s campaign for the GOP nomination for governor, The State has learned.

Baham, 34, will run McMaster’s day-to-day campaign operations, working with Tim Pearson, a former political adviser to Gov. Nikki Haley. Pearson is McMaster’s general consultant.

A University of South Carolina graduate, Baham also has worked for the First Tuesday Strategies political firm of Columbia, the S.C. GOP, the S.C. House Republican Caucus and former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard’s campaign.

The Columbia resident is the fourth paid staffer to join McMaster’s campaign team. In addition to Baham and Pearson, McMaster’s campaign has two paid fundraisers, including an alum of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s re-election campaign.

The incumbent Republican governor, who reported raising more than $1.7 million through June to keep his job, has one GOP challenger on his heels.

Charleston attorney Catherine Templeton, who had raised $1.4 million through June, recently announced she has recruited GOP campaign heavyweight Ward Baker to chair her campaign.

Former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill of Williamsburg and current Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson also are seeking the GOP nomination for governor.